Happy Bastille Day: 10 Great French Works of Art

Claude Monet

Today marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, the Paris prison that was the symbol of Louis XVI's absolutist monarchy. The jail held fewer than 10 prisoners, but the symbolic 1789 victory in has gone down in history as the day the first French Republic was born.

There are a few things the French don't do so well: cars, the Olympics, King-Louis-the-Anything-furniture. But there's also a lot that the French do well: food, movies, kissing.

The French love for and skill in creating art, though, has long been one of that nation's greatest gifts to Western culture, so much so that students have flocked for centuries to that country to learn the classic techniques as well as to witness the avant-garde. So, in honor of Bastille Day, here are 10 great French works of art.

Kordae Ortega contributed to this article.

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